Ian Kerr is Hote­lier of the Year

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOCIAL - Janet Sil­vera Se­nior Gleaner Writer janet.sil­vera@glean­erjm.com

IWESTERN BUREAU: AN KERR, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Sun­set at the Palms, is the Ja­maica Ho­tel and Tourist As­so­ci­a­tion’s (JHTA) Hote­lier of the Year for 2017.

Kerr was recog­nised for his ster­ling con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment and en­rich­ment of a qual­ity Ja­maican tourism prod­uct by his peers dur­ing the 56th an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of the JHTA at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel last Satur­day in New Kingston.

Kerr op­er­ated the pop­u­lar Sun­set Ja­maica Grande for sev­eral years be­fore sell­ing it to the Moon Palace re­sort group. He also made Sun­set Re­sort and Spa (now Sun­scape) fa­mous be­fore hand­ing over the man­age­ment of the prop­erty to AMRe­sorts.

“Ap­ply­ing the high stan­dards by which hote­liers are judged, he is rated as ‘out­stand­ing’ in ev­ery cat­e­gory, in­clud­ing op­er­a­tions, food and bev­er­age, mar­ket­ing, staff train­ing and mo­ti­va­tion as well as in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity and, of course, build­ing & grounds,” said the JHTA in its trib­ute.

OTHER RE­CIP­I­ENTS

The re­spected hote­lier shared the spot­light with mul­ti­tal­ented en­tre­pre­neur of Pier One on the Water­front and Reg­gae Sum­fest fame, Robert Rus­sell, who re­ceived the 2017 Abe Issa Award, and Ralph Smith, founder of Trop­i­cal Tours, who copped the cov­eted Life­time Achieve­ment Award.

All three re­cip­i­ents are based in the tourism cap­i­tal, Mon­tego Bay, and have made in­deli­ble con­tri­bu­tions to the sec­tor.

“It is for his uniquely rich and var­ied con­tri­bu­tion to Ja­maica’s suc­cess in tourism and en­ter­tain­ment for over 40 years, for his strong lead­er­ship in high­light­ing the coun­try’s cul­tural her­itage and for con­sis­tent work to en­hance its im­age as a tourist des­ti­na­tion, that the JHTA is pleased to present Robert Rus­sell with this award,” said the tourism or­gan­i­sa­tion.

IN­SEP­A­RA­BLE LINK

In the case of Ralph Smith, a pi­o­neer in the mod­ern ground trans­porta­tion sys­tem in Ja­maica, the JHTA said he has con­sis­tently demon­strated a clear un­der­stand­ing of the in­sep­a­ra­ble link be­tween tourism de­vel­op­ment and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment.

“His phi­los­o­phy is cap­tured in the words of the old song, ‘There’s no me with­out you’.”

The awards, which have be­come an in­te­gral part of the JHTA lun­cheon, also saw Ap­ple­ton Es­tate Rum Tour’s Tif­fany O’Meally walk­ing away as Tourism Em­ployee of the Year prize, and bar­tender at The Courtleigh Ho­tel and Suites, An­thony Bas­coe, cop­ping Ho­tel Em­ployee of the Year.

Tryall Club’s Dian McKen­zie was named Ho­tel Man­ager/ Su­per­vi­sor of the Year; Chukka took home the At­trac­tion of the Year Award; Caribbean Pro­duc­ers, Pur­veyor of the Year; and JetBlue Air­ways, the In­ter­na­tional Air­line Part­ner.

Be­low: Re­cip­i­ents pose with JHTA Pres­i­dent Omar Robin­son (third left) and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Camille Need­ham (fourth right) af­ter ac­cept­ing their awards.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Ian Kerr (right), man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Sun­set at the Palms, Ne­gril, ac­cepts his award from JHTA Pres­i­dent Omar Robin­son dur­ing the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of the as­so­ci­a­tion at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel in New Kingston.

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